Mutual and Federal's position unchanged on wage demands

05 Mar 2014 14:40pm
WINDHOEK, 05 MAR (NAMPA) – Mutual and Federal's management has indicated that their position on employees’ wage demands remains the same despite the Namibia Financial Institutions’ Union (Nafinu) reducing the demand from 10 to nine per cent.
Tracy Eagles, the Executive for Marketing, Transformation and Customer Strategy at the Old Mutual Namibia Group, which Mutual and Federal falls under, said in a media statement issued on Tuesday that the company is sticking to its offer of a seven per cent salary increase.
Mutual and Federal employees who are members of Nafinu last Monday embarked on a 'no work-no pay' strike in the capital due to unresolved wage disputes arising from wage increases in March 2013.
The employees initially demanded a minimum 10 per cent increase on the Total Guaranteed Package (TGP); a housing allowance equal to 20 per cent of TGP; and 100 per cent medical aid contributions by the employer.
However, Eagles said the company's management on Tuesday received revised demands from Nafinu of a nine per cent salary increase, 20 per cent housing on TGP for all non-managerial employees and 50 per cent employer contribution on medical aid.
She said with regard to the 10 per cent TGP increase demand, the company incurred two types of salary expenses - a normal salary increase of 6,1 per cent in April 2013 and a salary adjustment for a number of employees which came out of a company-initiated remuneration architecture review in August 2013.
Eagles said the total increase in the TGP bill as a result of these two increases was 12 per cent overall, surpassing the 10 per cent increase which the union has demanded.
“In context, industry increases for 2013 ranged from seven per cent to eight per cent, while Namibian inflation averaged 5,7 per cent in 2013. Considering the application for a higher increase, current management reviewed the company’s position and offered to increase the 6,1 per cent salary increment to 7 per cent, effective from December 2013,” she said.
Eagles noted that the offer is not backdated to April 2013 in order to limit the growth in the wage bill (already maintaining the 12 per cent increase which is in place) and to ensure a semblance of sustainability in payroll expenses.
“This offer was rejected by the union but remains on the table. If the union’s demands were granted for 2013, Mutual and Federal’s wage bill, as represented by the TGP bill, would have gone up by over 36 per cent,” she said.
Regarding the medical aid and housing allowance, Eagles said all employees, management and non-management of Mutual and Federal Namibia are on a TGP, which allows all employees to structure their pay packages to accommodate elements such as housing allowance and transport/vehicle allowance.
“TGP means that the union cannot demand an increase on TGP and additionally demand medical aid contributions and housing allowances. These elements are already available as part of TGP,” she said.
Mutual and Federal has 103 employees of which 53 are Nafinu members. Thirty-nine employees voted in favour of the strike, and 43 against it.